Adding more RAM increase PC performance?

Cappuccino

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Feb 27, 2013
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Does adding more RAM increase your PC performance? such as gaming? I have 8GB RAM, I know it's enough, but I'm curious what kind of affect would cause, if I increase to 16GB. Just wondering ;)
 

KingFatty

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Dec 29, 2010
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Think about how your currently unused ram does nothing.

If you have 2 GB unused ram, it's just as good at doing nothing as 10 GB of unused ram.

*You can check your unused ram amount by poking around in "performance" under task manager, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC and take a look when you are gaming. How close do you ever get to using all 8 GB?
 

DominionSeraph

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Jul 22, 2009
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What does it do then? :eek:

It's mostly just more working capacity. It allows you to have more things open at the same time without using the swapfile. (Using the ultra-slow hard drive as system memory.) If you run out of memory (swapfile disabled or you manage to run out of RAM + swapfile), the system crashes.

More RAM also means Windows can keep more of your most recently used programs in cache instead of pushing them out for the newer programs.
Windows Vista, 7, and 8 also have superfetch, which will proactively cache programs in RAM.
 

randomrogue

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Jan 15, 2011
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8GB no.

You have to max out your memory before an upgrade would change anything. Back when I was using 512MB the difference in games going to 1GB was huge. 8GB is plenty for everything though.

Also, so there's no confusion if you want to speed up games you should first determine if it's CPU or GPU dependent. I'm sure some games are both but generally speaking they're leaning heavily towards one. World of Warcraft for example is CPU dependent and a new videocard will do very little. Other games are the opposite.
 

HutchinsonJC

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Apr 15, 2007
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Does adding more RAM increase your PC performance? such as gaming? I have 8GB RAM, I know it's enough, but I'm curious what kind of affect would cause, if I increase to 16GB. Just wondering ;)
Adding more RAM CAN increase your PC's performance, but it DEPENDS on YOUR usage scenario.

8GBs of RAM is enough to handle pretty much every game out there. You will see pretty much zero performance gain going from 8GBs to 16GBs if gaming is your most demanding usage scenario.

If you're having performance issues now @ 8GBs of RAM, it may be something else that you need to look at.
 

Cappuccino

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Feb 27, 2013
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Adding more RAM CAN increase your PC's performance, but it DEPENDS on YOUR usage scenario.

8GBs of RAM is enough to handle pretty much every game out there. You will see pretty much zero performance gain going from 8GBs to 16GBs if gaming is your most demanding usage scenario.

If you're having performance issues now @ 8GBs of RAM, it may be something else that you need to look at.
Gonna ask a noob question now. How much GB does 1 game have? Let say Diablo 3. Also, how many games can you download roughly with 8GB? Sorry I'm really new to pc gaming. I'm just asking D:
 

KingFatty

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Dec 29, 2010
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Ah, well there are 2 kinds of memory, the RAM and the storage.

The RAM is like what makes the computer go when you "run" a program you load it into RAM temporarily.

The storage is where you put everything, and when you want to run them, you load them into RAM.

Typically 4 GB would be fine, and 8 GB would be very safe. You'll have thousands of gigabytes of software stored up in storage, but when it comes time to run something, you just need 4 or 8 (if you want to run several things at the same time).
 

DominionSeraph

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Jul 22, 2009
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Gonna ask a noob question now. How much GB does 1 game have? Let say Diablo 3. Also, how many games can you download roughly with 8GB? Sorry I'm really new to pc gaming. I'm just asking D:

Most games are going to use under 4GB (and most of those under 2GB) as they were designed with certain limits imposed by 32bit Windows. (And older games just aren't as complex)
Diablo III will run on a system with 1GB, with 2GB recommended.

And you download games to your hard drive, which is a separate thing. You probably have hundreds of gigabytes of storage there. Diablo III takes 12GB of hard drive space.
 

lopri

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Jul 27, 2002
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And Windows do not cache everything you close to memory. MS tried something like that with Vista (Superfetch.. ) and it did not work out very well.
 

jaqie

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Apr 6, 2008
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Does adding more RAM increase your PC performance? such as gaming? I have 8GB RAM, I know it's enough, but I'm curious what kind of affect would cause, if I increase to 16GB. Just wondering ;)
I'm going to address you instead of addressing the other posters because some have partly invalid points, some misunderstand the situation, and some just give information that isn't true. I am not going to point fingers or say who, I am just letting you, the OP, know.

More RAM will only help your system have more space for what it's doing at the time.
Forget about computers for just one moment, I will give you an analogy.

Say you are doing taxes for yourself and you own nothing, work a minimum wage job, and rent in an apartment. Forget computers, you are doing it via papers on a desk. You can do it easily on a pretty small sized desk, can't you? Yes.
Now imagine you are doing taxes the same way, for PEPSI corporation or something. You need a pretty dang big desk, and if you don't have a big enough one, you will take even longer as you shuffle things on and off the desk to work on.

This is what RAM is to your computer, this is the space it has to work on whatever you tell it to run, and whatever is running in the background (like windows itself, and your antivirus, and such). Depending on what you are doing with your computer, more RAM is better, but beyond a certain point, more just doesn't help, it's just extra space sitting there unused.

Now how does this relate in a quantifiable manner?
I have a system with 16GB ram, and another with 8GB... before this system the 8GB one was my main computer for gaming. I can run any game I want great on either one, but when I alt+tab out of my old one, it takes like 5-10 seconds until it's ready for me to do stuff in another window. The 16GB one has so much extra working space, it still has windows itself and my other open programs (like web browser) still in memory, it didnt have to shuffle them off of the ram in order to make my game run it's fastest. This is the ONLY difference in these two computers when all the other parts in them are the same.

In a nutshell, 8GB is plenty for the game, any game but if you ever want to do other stuff too, even opening up a browser, with 16GB you can notice a difference depending on the game and how much other stuff is running on your computer at that time as well.

Being that my system has 16GB of ram, I have a few things I like running all the time, and that eats up 2-3GB of my ram including win 7 64 bit itself. I did this on the 8GB one too. Windows itself will eat up 1GB or so, more for vista, and less for windows XP...
 
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compcons

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Oct 22, 2004
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Yay Jaqie! This is the best analogy and I use it often. Add a file cabinet=hard drive and a calculator or pen and paper=CPU and you have a pc. To Jaqie's point, RAM is good and it can be felt doing stuff outside a game. If you have funds and your computer supports it, RAM is super cheap in some cases and might be good spend. It is also pretty easy to add ram, it is plug and play in most cases (assuming you have open slots).

That said, a really fast filing cabinet or better calculator may make a bigger difference in your use. Those upgrades are a bit more complex (cloning a hard drive) or not worth the time( swapping a processor in a laptop for instance).

EH
 

grimpr

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Aug 21, 2007
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+1 for Jaqies very good and down to earth explanation. Experienced users and especially those that lived in the DOS era have developed a certain aversion to low ram systems, 640k limits and swap to disk scenarios like yours truely and always put more ram on their own personal systems, i agree that 16gb is the perfect ram size for the modern demanding multitasking desktop and anything above that is purely for special usage scenarios like virtual machines etc.
 

tweakboy

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Jan 3, 2010
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www.hammiestudios.com
Does adding more RAM increase your PC performance? such as gaming? I have 8GB RAM, I know it's enough, but I'm curious what kind of affect would cause, if I increase to 16GB. Just wondering ;)


It means it can throw more stuff into Cache. SO 8 to 16GB is noticable until you have apps open then launch a game.. disable page file and enjoy...
 

coffeejunkee

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Jul 31, 2010
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Now how does this relate in a quantifiable manner?
I have a system with 16GB ram, and another with 8GB... before this system the 8GB one was my main computer for gaming. I can run any game I want great on either one, but when I alt+tab out of my old one, it takes like 5-10 seconds until it's ready for me to do stuff in another window. The 16GB one has so much extra working space, it still has windows itself and my other open programs (like web browser) still in memory, it didnt have to shuffle them off of the ram in order to make my game run it's fastest. This is the ONLY difference in these two computers when all the other parts in them are the same.

In a nutshell, 8GB is plenty for the game, any game but if you ever want to do other stuff too, even opening up a browser, with 16GB you can notice a difference depending on the game and how much other stuff is running on your computer at that time as well.

So you don't agree that 2GB unused ram is just as good at doing nothing as 10GB unused ram.

I don't know and I suppose installed software affects this too, but it would be interesting to see max memory used in HWinfo64 while performing the same tasks/games.
 

KingFatty

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Dec 29, 2010
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Perhaps the presumption is that he has a game that uses, say 6 GB of ram. But, he has a web browser with 300 tabs all open playing different youtube videos simultaneously, that uses 3 GB of ram.

So, that's 9 GB of ram total, which will not fit in 8 GB, so the computer take a while to shuffle things around in ram (e.g., move stuff from the desk to the filing cabinet).

But if you have 16 GB of ram, all 9 GB would fit in there. But man, what if you want to open 1300 tabs of youtube videos to play simultaneously? Better upgrade to 32 GB.
 

dagamer34

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Aug 15, 2005
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Pretty much the only kind of apps that will regularly use more than 4GB of RAM at once are professional apps like AutoCAD, Photoshop with GB sized files, video encoding apps, etc...

In your average system, there's almost no need for more than 8GB, and this is especially true if you have an SSD. With random read speeds in the 400MB+/sec range, any data that isn't in RAM will get quickly loaded anyway. Having massive amounts of RAM compared to the average used to be beneficial because trying to read data off a magnetic hard disk is incredibly slow, but with an SSD, that's less true today.
 

KingFatty

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Dec 29, 2010
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Apologies, I didn't realize gender but it seems obvious in retrospect. I'm at work now, I'm currently using 2.57 GB of ram out of 4 GB total available.

When I'm at home on my gaming machine with 8 GB of RAM, I've checked my ram usage, and it's usually below 4 GB of ram also, at least when I check on it though I bet it's gone higher.

I now take it as a personal challenge to see how I can get my RAM usage to exceed 8 GB so I can use my page file. I don't think I've ever exceeded my 8 GB of ram usage or used a page file.

Any suggestions? Again, I'm relying on the accuracy of memory usage as reported by task manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC). For extra creativity, I am limiting myself to Chrome and Starcraft 2, but I assume it's still possible to exceed 8 GB ram using only those 2 applications (just lots and lots of tabs open simultaneously).
 

jaqie

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Apr 6, 2008
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It's ok, I just get tired of people assuming male.

My firefox has so many addons that it's base ram usage when freshly started is ~350MB, and it climbs to 1GB pretty easily. I use a bunch of other background apps which each take a little slice... smart defrag, fraps, objectdock plus, avast, windowspace, volume2, xmouse, lots more. I also use a bunch of sidebar gadgets, which alone add up to ~300MB memory use.

Some of my games have some pretty intensive memory use and some also have pretty bad memory leaks. cities xl 2011 is a good example of a leaky game, and minecraft with a whole bunch of addons (GLSL shaders, optifine, rei's minimap, a bunch more) eats up a good ~6GB all in itself.
 

Carfax83

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Nov 1, 2010
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Does adding more RAM increase your PC performance? such as gaming? I have 8GB RAM, I know it's enough, but I'm curious what kind of affect would cause, if I increase to 16GB. Just wondering ;)

Adding more memory can increase gaming performance, but only if the game can utilize the extra amount of memory..

8GB is currently the sweet spot for gaming, so going to 16GB won't make any difference. This could change in a few years however.

I remember when 4GB was the sweet spot for memory, but running the latest games with 4GB on a high end system will not be nearly as smooth as if the system had 8GB.